Our Prime Ministers are bodyguards IPS officers
Open platform for youth and students for an informative panel discussion on the manipulations of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva and on the latest information about the kidnapped child Elián González in the United States
(Stenographic Service of the Council of State)
Carmen R. Báez:Dear TV viewers, the open tribune of the youth and students will be continued in the context of a panel debate from the studio of the Cuban Institute for Radio and Television in this anti-imperialist battle that we have been fighting for almost five months for the liberation of our child Elián González Brotons, an anti-imperialist battle for dignity and truth.
Allow me to introduce our interlocutors today.
Today we are accompanied by Reynaldo Taladrid, journalist for Cuban television, who was present at all of our panel debates and also supported us in interviewing personalities from all over the world; Nidia Díaz, journalist for the newspaper Granma; Arsenio Rodríguez, also a journalist Granma; Lázaro Barredo, journalist for the newspaper Trabajadores; Eduardo Dimas, journalist for Cuban television; Marina Menéndez, journalist for the newspaper Juventud Rebelde; next to her Rogelio Polanco, editor-in-chief of the newspaper mentioned; and Pedro de la Hoz, journalist Granma.
Before we begin our debate, on behalf of the Cuban Institute for Radio and Television and on behalf of our panelists, I would like to apologize to our youngest television viewers, children of all ages, because our panel debates have taken a little longer this week. The importance of the issues dealt with - both on Elián and on the vote in the Geneva Commission on Human Rights - has limited the program for children and young people.
The Cuban Institute for Radio and Television will endeavor to change the broadcasting times on weekends and to devote more time to the programs mentioned.
That being said, we believe that the battle we are fighting for a child who is also a symbol of all Cuban children, as well as the facts about the Geneva events that we convey to our people, are of extraordinary importance to our people.
I therefore think that we should start now by informing you of the response in that country to the march and the indignation of our people in view of the request submitted by the Government of the Czech Republic to the Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.
Allow me to read out fragments of a report from the EFE agency dated April 21:
In response to the criticisms made by Cuban officials against the Czech Republic, the Czech Prime Minister and Social Democrat Milos Zeman announced in a newspaper today Pravo published interview ironically to appreciate Mr. Fidel Castro as well as Augusto Pinochet. He says:
"I do not believe that Mr Castro is an intellectual, so it is inappropriate to comment on his remarks against an intellectual like Václav Havel (the Czech President)," added Zeman, referring to statements made by the Cuban representatives, according to which the Czech President is a professional counterrevolutionary whose rise to power the United States made up a legend.
The Czech Prime Minister said that he welcomed an improvement in bilateral relations, but not at the price of having to serve dictators - whether they were right or left.
"I mean, since we are now a free and democratic country, we have an obligation to pay that debt also in relation to Cuba," concluded the Czech Prime Minister, alluding to the guilt of being a socialist country under the social system of that time .
The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs denied the Cuban allegations and, through his spokesman Ales Pospisil, pointed out that the Czech diplomats in Havana were not engaging in any activities hostile to Cuba.
He added that the Czech Republic was endeavoring to raise the diplomatic status of its delegation so that relations between the two nations could be managed at ambassadorial level and not, as before, at the level of chargé d'affaires.
Apparently the Czech Prime Minister would like us to take photos and videos of everything that was said during the last panel debate; but we are actually of the opinion that - as it is popularly known - you don't necessarily have to shoot sparrows with lead bullets.
Therefore, since they have made a fool of themselves, it is better not to make a fuss of them. The best thing is that we now read out the message that we received from the Czech-Cuban Friendship Society, with which they protest against the attitude of the government of the Czech Republic.
The wording is as follows:
"The Czech-Cuban Friendship Society protests against the decision of the Czech Republic to submit a resolution to the UN Commission for Human Rights this year as well, accusing the violation of human rights in Cuba. The day on which the resolution was under obvious pressure was adopted in Geneva is for us the day of shame for Czech diplomacy: like an obedient lackey, the Czech Republic seized the reins that all the states of the western hemisphere, that is, the immediate or close neighbors of Cuba, had refused United States, considered to be the actual authors of the resolution, has been morally courageous enough to seek the condemnation of a nation against which it is illegally blocking what has become a mass murderous crime in its forty years.
In accordance with its statutes, our society promotes the expansion of friendship ties between the peoples of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Cuba in all areas of society in both countries. If we keep in mind the long tradition of economic, cultural, scientific-technical and sporting relations, it is incomprehensible and unacceptable for us that the government of the Czech Republic is doing everything to break off relations. This policy is a slap in the face, not only in the face of the proud Cuban patriots, who for decades have shown their gratitude to our country and our nation for the selfless support they have given during a critical time after the victory of the revolution, but also to the patriots of all of Latin America and of all the countries in the world that value the heroism of the Cuban people and demand that they respect their right to self-determination and true independence.
We fully understand the just indignation of the Cuban people, which was expressed in the demonstration of 100,000 people in front of our embassy in Havana. We are determined to keep fighting in all possible ways, even under these conditions, in order to regain the confidence of the Cuban people in the people of our country and to prove that treason is utterly alien to the absolute majority of our nation. "
I think that is already part of the answer to the Prime Minister's criterion of the Czech Republic.
Here we also have the declaration of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on the shameful resolution on so-called human rights, introduced by the Czech Republic and Poland in Geneva on April 18, 2000.
Here it says:
"The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and all decent Czechoslovak citizens strongly disapprove of the anti-Cuban act (in the form of a resolution on human rights in Cuba) driven by Czech diplomacy and distance themselves from it in everything. The act of April 18, 2000 provides An abuse of the UN organization. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, conscious of the painful experience ten years ago as a result of the so-called honorable efforts of the West with regard to human rights and social freedoms in Czechoslovakia, underlines that in the case of Cuba too the reactionary circles of capital with the US administration at its head, do not have the good of the Cuban people in mind, but that it is an internationally agreed dirty game that aims to destabilize, isolate and eliminate the progressive regimes, even the Price of military operations; and all under the banner of globalization. The economic embargo could not destroy Cuba, not even in a situation in which they contributed to the overthrow of socialism in Europe and the Soviet Union; and this worries the reactionary circles of international capital.
As friends of Cuba, the Czech communists fully support the actions of the Cuban leadership to safeguard Cuba's socio-economic programs, the sole aim of which is the welfare of the majority and the exercise of the basic human right, the right to life.
The fact that this hostile initiative against Cuba came from the Czech Republic of all places is worthy of condemnation. It is quite clear that the resolution is not aimed at specific issues, but that its ultimate purpose is purely political. Contributing to this is the well-known fact that the Czech Republic has become the obvious puppet regime of the United States with a key position in Europe. Ultimately, this position also damages the socio-economic rights of most Czech citizens. Today, ten years after the counter-revolution prepared internationally under the slogan of human rights and democracy - and the citizens of the Czech Republic know this - unemployment, the violation of human dignity, drugs, economic collapse, social failure and crime are the result of the Fight for human rights, regulated by the United States and its allies, using those who were the so-called dissidents ten years ago and are now their lackeys and poison the environment around Cuba. The real author of the resolution is the United States.
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia is aware that Cuba knows very well what it is doing and what its actions are for. We stand on the side of the Republic of Cuba, the Cuban people, and support the steps taken by the country's political and state leadership. The resolution tabled in Geneva does not reflect the opinion of the Czechoslovak people. It harms the prospects of tomorrow's world and today's global economic cooperation efforts. It is harmful and unacceptable. We hereby express our full solidarity with the Republic of Cuba.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia "
Well, that is part of the echo of the march that was held in our country and the indignation - as I said at the beginning - of our people at the vote in the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
Two days ago, all these issues were discussed by a group of experts from our country in a panel debate.
As I said, that result of the vote had produced the deepest indignation among our people; and at the last panel discussion we were first of all helped with an analysis of the functioning of that commission. Please let me remind you of this so that we can then move on to the subject that is before us today.
Secondly, the way in which the issue of Cuba had previously been dealt with in this commission was ventilated.
Thirdly, I think it was very important to analyze who dared to bring this motion against Cuba to the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, specifically the government of the Czech Republic and the United States, although the resolution was also sponsored by Poland .
Fourth, very important was the remarks made by our Foreign Minister, who explained our positions here on how Cuba is defending third world human rights - not just Cuban positions, but also those of the third world - in this commission and how the United States is manipulating this issue in Geneva .
So we could see how the vote went; and for many Cubans it was very important to know which countries had voted for the resolution, which had abstained and which had opposed it.
I now propose that you move on to the subject of this panel debate and still refresh the vote a little bit. I now ask comrade Patricia, who will support us with pictures, to our viewers
Hand of regional blocs to present the result of the vote.
I think it would be important to start with the Western Europe and Eastern Europe group if possible. This would allow us to analyze the position of the individual countries well.
(the picture appears)
Here we have the group of Western European countries and other states. We see the supporters of the resolution: Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In this group you see the Western European countries, as well as the United States and Canada. Then there are New Zealand and Australia, but they were not commissioners this year. You have traditionally always voted against Cuba, but you did not take part in the vote this year.
I think it is important for you to know that this group has gradually changed the character of the commission and made it an inquisition tribunal for the developing world. I think it is very important that our people know this; also that this commission, through the influence of that group, has in fact become a forum for impositions, pressure and blackmail.
That’s what we’ll talk about today.
We will continue to look at the outcome of the vote and I propose that we look at the group of Eastern European countries. This also includes the former socialist countries. In this case, the supporters included the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland and Romania.
(the picture appears)
Here you can see it on the screen.
Latvia, Poland and Romania were in favor of the resolution tabled by the Czech Republic. Poland is one of the sponsors. Russia voted against the resolution.
I believe that the coordination of the Latin American countries is also important. Because it is also the one that most of our television viewers asked for, that they wanted to see.
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Here voted for the resolution of the Czech Republic: Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala. Votes against: of course Cuba, Peru, Venezuela. Abstentions showed: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.
We would also like to show you the voting results of the Asian countries.
(the picture appears)
I think it is important that you know who voted for the resolution, namely: Japan and South Korea. Votes against: Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Qatar and Sri Lanka abstained.
And an extremely important group for us. The South Summit has only just ended, and a strong representation of all those countries was present in Cuba. How did the African countries vote on the resolution presented by the Czech Republic to the Commission for Human Rights in Geneva?
(the picture appears)
Only Morocco voted for the resolution. Votes against: Burundi, Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia. The following countries abstained from voting: Botswana, Mauritius, Rwanda, Senegal and Swaziland.
Today we would like to analyze the core of this vote.
If we now start with a regional bloc - I would like to start with Western Europe, if possible, and Eastern Europe, that is to say, proceed in the same order as when we introduced it - then it must be fairly recognized that not all countries in this Commission act in the same way . So if Spain, France, Italy and Portugal voted against us in this Western European group, they are worth our admitting that these four countries are not anti-Cuba in the Commission. You voted against us. This action cannot be belittled, and we want to analyze that today. But I think it should also be said that they are not co-sponsors of resolutions against Cuba that are brought to the Commission, and that they are not taking any direct action to get other countries to vote against Cuba.
So, I think it will be interesting to analyze the pattern and paradigm that those human rights advocates are trying to sell to us in an almost fundamentalist way.It is like the mirror that you sell to the Indians and that you want them to see themselves in, but not as they are, but as they are.
I think the question of those who voted against Cuba is beginning to come to mind. Because in the panel debate there was talk of a double standard and I would now like to ask our interlocutors here to answer the question whether it would be fair to assume that educated Europe - as we have spoken of it so often here in this studio - said to us with a raised index finger: "Do what I say and not what I do!"
I would like to start with Comrade Dimas. He's used to standing by us on television with commentary on international politics. Dimas, would you think that we from the group of Western European countries would have to accept that in this way?
Eduardo Dimas:Obviously not, for the simple reason that if you look first at the history of the European nations and second at the most recent events, that is, those of the previous year, it is obviously not countries or governments that actually respect human rights.
Let's just think of Yugoslavia. Who is directly responsible for all that happened, for the 78 days of bombing over Serbia and Kosovo? It is clearly the direct responsibility of European countries, the member states of NATO, which includes Canada and the United States; and it was the United States that directed these operations.
A pretext, a very trivial pretext, part of all their pretexts, that of the alleged mass and flagrant violations of human rights in Kosovo by the Kosovar Albanians. That was the pretext; with that they started a great propaganda. The media took it upon itself to extol everything that happened there.
I'm not saying that things didn't come to pass. What I am saying is that neither in size nor scope can they be called a mass murder, a massacre. From the President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milošewic, they made a bad person, i.e. the villain of the film, stamped him the devil, just as they did before with Noriega in Panama to invade there, and as they did in Iraq.
The targets of the bombing of Yugoslavia were in fact different. I would say that their first priority was the dismemberment, i.e. the final implementation of the division of Yugoslavia, which already consisted only of Serbia and Montenegro. Recall that they split in the early 1990s. In second place was the complete elimination of the minor or major influence that Russia still had in the Balkans and, as a counterpart to this, the strengthening of the influence of the USA and NATO in the region. That is one aspect.
If we now look at the negotiations, i.e. how they were manipulated and conducted, it becomes evident that Europe has endeavored to lock all doors before any kind of negotiation aimed at solving the problem of the Kosovar Albanians.
A mediation commission was set up - a mediation commission that did everything possible to force Yugoslavia to reject all solutions that were really just for the country; then came the Rambouillet talks, characterized first of all by the fact that Europe proposed to Yugoslavia a number of unacceptable issues, including the autonomy of Kosovo.
The United States and NATO also supported the Kosovo Liberation Army, an army that until 1995 or 1996 was a force of smugglers and drug traffickers, armed, trained and funded by the Mafia groups of Albania and Montenegro. They engaged in drug and white women trafficking. And that army was turned into a liberation army overnight. They support them, help, give money and de facto they are forcing the Yugoslav government at the Rambouillet talks to sit down at the negotiating table with the Kosovo Liberation Army.
The Kosovo Liberation Army accepts everything that is proposed for very obvious reasons; i.e. everything that was proposed for the Rambouillet decisions, which had to be rejected by the Yugoslav government.
That is the situation in which the bombing took place on March 23, the supposed aim of which was to destroy the Yugoslav army and force them to withdraw from Kosovo. In reality they destroyed all factories, all railway junctions, all food and fuel stores and the Danube bridges. In other words, they effectively destroyed the entire economic infrastructure of the country.
Something very interesting happened during those bombings. You remember the war reports from the NATO Information Center. In those reports - there will then be other comrades speaking - a very interesting term appears: they call the civilian bomb victims "secondary damage".
These bombings last for 78 days, and I repeat that the entire economic infrastructure of Yugoslavia is in fact being destroyed. There were more than 2,000 dead, more than 6,000 injured, if my memory doesn't deceive me.
After that, when the Yugoslav government had no other option - they would have waited a few more days, I think the problem could have been solved differently - accepted them after 78 days and through Russia's mediation.
The Yugoslav army is withdrawn from Kosovo and has hardly suffered any losses; that is, the casualties were mostly civilians, including cases like the train or tractor train with trailers they bombed.
I would like to highlight one aspect here. Let us start from the pretext that they used for the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo: the pretext was mass and flagrant violations of human rights in Kosovo.
Obviously, the first thing they did was look for the dead, those huge numbers of dead. It's not that they didn't find any. They found dead Kosovar Albanians, but not enough to break an international scandal. Hence the initial pretext was invalid; that is, the initial pretext that the Kosovar Albanians must be saved from the wickedness of the Serbs. In all of these things, you always have to create a good guy and a bad guy. The good guys in this case were the Kosovar Albanians and the Serbs were the bad guys. They did the same in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here the Muslims and the Croats were the good guys and the Serbs the bad guys. That is, this situation is always carved out.
They did not find that number of mass graves. They did not find the number of dead to start a scandal and to justify it. Therefore, as far as I know, they kept themselves in a kind of silence about it. Nobody talks about it. Every now and then a message appears that three dead bodies have been found in one grave, four dead bodies have been found in one grave. But they should also determine whether these are Serbs murdered by Kosovar Albanians or vice versa, because everything was there.
Carmen R. Báez:So that means when we say, "Do what I say and not what I do," then you have to see how they defend the rights of "collateral damage".
Eduardo Dimas:And how they used the pretext of human rights for an action that was extremely political and consisted in the implementation of the fragmentation of Yugoslavia and the removal of the little or strong influence that Russia still had in the Balkans. Those were the basic goals.
Carmen R. Báez:Nidia, you asked to speak on this subject. Both of you, Nidia and Dimas, also wrote some articles during the war in Yugoslavia and this whole Kosovo problem, which is why I think it is very important that you are here and that we can count on your support; not just to refresh what was happening there, because our people were always up to date on all these things, but to help us assess what has happened and what has happened today in the Commission on Human Rights. We bring up that question again, and if I keep coming back to it, please excuse me: Who are they? In my opinion, it is very important to keep the thread running through our panel debate.
Nidia Díaz:Yes, I think that I just have to add to Dimas' remarks that one of the main reasons for the war of aggression and mass murder against Yugoslavia is that it had become indispensable for the USA not only to eliminate Russian influence in that region, but rather to establish oneself in Central Europe to the detriment of the sovereignty of the European countries that served them as henchmen in this mass murderous war against Yugoslavia.
With that I want to say who these people really are, who talk so hypocritically about human rights in Cuba, about the violations of human rights in Cuba.
The other day I read a message from those who ask: How come it doesn't appear on the front page of the world's most important newspapers? So recently I read that retired German General Heinz Locke said in an interview for a Greek newspaper that appears in that country that the document that NATO relied on for the bombing of Yugoslavia last year was wrong. So this man categorically asserted it.
The newspaper writes: "The report according to which the Yugoslav authorities were preparing the extermination of the Kosovar Albanians in Kosovo had been drawn up by the Bulgarian secret services and lacked credibility, as stated by the senior German officer Locke, who is currently in the organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. "
ATHENS, April 4th (PL). The document cited by NATO for the bombing of Yugoslavia last year was false, as retired German General Heinz Locke testified in an interview published today by a Greek newspaper. The report, according to which the Yugoslav authorities were preparing the extermination of the Kosovar Albanians in Kosovo, was drawn up by the Bulgarian secret services and lacked credibility, said the former German officer. Locke, who is currently with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, claimed that NATO used the manipulation to bomb Yugoslav territory and gain acceptance from the European public. All persons involved in this game have historical responsibility, including the German Ministry of Defense, the interviewee stated. In his statements, the German general pointed out that no one had ever bothered to ascertain the accuracy of the report which had been insidiously prepared for the well-thought-out purpose of justifying the bombing of Yugoslavia. "
That is not to say that this was the only report. There are reports of the kind Dimas mentions, even from a bird's eye view, that allegedly there are mass graves of Kosovar Albanians. That is, a lot of untrue information has been disseminated about the Yugoslavia and Kosovo issues. However, the fact that the Bulgarian secret service lent itself to the preparation of an insidious report on this subject proves once again - especially us Cubans and especially now that the Czech Republic offered itself to the Commission for Human Rights in favor of the motion of censure against Cuba Bulgaria did the same against Yugoslavia in favor of NATO and the United States. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have clearly fallen. From socialist countries they clearly became activists of imperialism.
It must also be said that, as Dimas correctly assesses, the Kosovo case was prepared with this double standard; with that hypocrisy inherent in the actions of these countries, those who make up the group of rich countries, the group of NATO countries, the group which, with the United States at its head, today have or can get the world under control strive.
I remember there was a lot of talk in those days about how the situation in Kosovo came about. It was said, as Dimas said, that the Kosovar Albanians were being oppressed and were victims of ethnic cleansing by the Serbs. However, a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees revealed that 85% of the almost 860,000 emigrants from Kosovo did not leave the province during the supposed ethnic cleansing, but rather during the 79 days of bombing that the country, and specifically this province, was exposed to were.
Our television viewers should know that there were 1.8 million Kosovar Albanians and more than 200,000 people of other nationalities, including Serbs, in Kosovo. A year earlier, when the whole issue of Kosovo, ethnic cleansing and the mass murder allegedly committed in Yugoslavia was being concocted, the emigration of 170,000 Kosovar Albanians from Kosovo was encouraged. However, we now see, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says, 860,000 people, the majority of them Kosovar Albanians, emigrated during the days of the war, for fear of the bombing and fear of the war.
That is, the issue of ethnic cleansing, the issue of the emigration of Kosovar Albanians, who were no longer able to live in Kosovo because of the repression they were subjected to, is a hypocrisy, untrue, concocted by the same people who do this in Latin America confirm good or bad behavior of our countries; by the same people eager to force this or that behavior on Cuba.
Dimas spoke of 2,000 dead and 6,000 injured in Yugoslavia. But in those 79 days of aggression there were almost 36,000 entries.
To demonstrate once again the hypocrisy of these countries, this civilized Europe and this civilized United States, this United States and this NATO, which are supposedly peace-loving and who value and defend ethical and religious values, I must add that the war began on March 23rd, but the largest number of air raids up to that day took place during Holy Week of all places, on Thursday, April 2nd. That April 2nd, a waterworks, a factory and the capital were bombed. Belgrade suffered most of the air strikes, with two civilians dead and six injured, but according to the war reports of that sacrosanct alliance of deaths, "military installations" were attacked.
We are told that we are violating human rights because there is supposedly no freedom of belief, freedom of speech, etc. in our country. However, on a holy day, a day of devotion, which should be a day of peace and love for Christian Europe and the United States, major massacres were carried out against civilian objects in Yugoslavia. I think that speaks for itself and indicates who those people are and what their real political goals are they are pursuing against those who for one reason or another do not bow to their economic or strategic interests.
Marina Menéndez:I would like to work something out clearly and summarize what Dimas and Nidia said. So the deception of those who are accusing Cuba today lay not only in the fact that they used the alleged defense of the human rights of Kosovars of Albanian origin as an argument, as an excuse, as a justification, but that in this alleged defense they - may the statement of Ethnic cleansing, as denounced, whether it is true or not - violates the human rights of thousands of civilians. Not only Kosovars of Serbian but also Albanian origin were affected by their bombs, as Nidia and Dimas recalled.
I believe there has been manipulation in that regard and in everything. From the moment the public is prepared for this intervention and occupation, which finally culminated the entire operation in Kosovo and Yugoslavia: the demonization of Slobodan Miloševic down to the Serbian people themselves, who are in fact always the part that ends up in the dock. That is how it was in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that is how it is now in Kosovo.
These are the machinations since use was made of the mentioned aid of alleged support, the humanitarian intervention - which will be dealt with in more depth later - up to the hypocritical and decidedly untrue fact, the so-called collateral damage to cover up the aggression against the civilian population of the Serbs and Kosovars and, in the end, against the infrastructure of the Yugoslav economy.
Eduardo Galea no, always so excellent, wrote in his article "Printing errors", which here in Cuba in Juventud Rebelde appeared, instead of "ancillary damage" it had to read "ancillary profit", and so a whole series of newly introduced terms. It was also allegedly mistakes that led to this damage to the civilian population and to the infrastructure of the Yugoslav economy; Errors of intelligent bombs, which obviously behaved very clumsily here, as Galeano also underlined in this article.
Nidia had named a few of these "mistakes", and I would like to remind you of more: among the 17 dead on April 5th in Aleksinak in southern Serbia, the target was allegedly a military object; on April 12 there were also 55 dead, including an 11-month-old child, when several bombs destroyed a train crossing a bridge. And so many other cases, until the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia was attacked on May 8th. Three journalists were killed in the aggression and about twenty were injured.
I think the American chronicler and lecturer in sociology - for political ethics, I am being improved by Dimas - James Petras summed it up very appropriately when he speaks of a litany of untruths, of fairy tales that were made up by the aggressor, by the United States and this accusing us of Europe today to carry out the aggression against Yugoslavia under the cloak of alleged "humanitarian aid" for those allegedly or actually affected by ethnic cleansing - I also represent Dimas' opinion, but that's what we want here and now do not decide.
He spoke of the number one fairy tale, President Miloševic, he was a dictator, a second Hitler, from the satanic being of Milosevic '. Fairy tale number two: Milosevic refuses to negotiate, compromise, accept international peacekeeping forces - Dimas had already mentioned Rambouillet's efforts. Fairy tale number three: Albania and Europe help the Kosovo refugees. Fairy tale number four: Miloševic committed mass murder. Fairy tale number five: In the Kosovo Liberation Army, the province's greatest hope lies in its struggle for democracy and human rights.
He has an answer to all these fairy tales. I do not want to take that long, but I would like to read aloud fairy tale number six mentioned by James Petras with his answer: The strategy of the United States is to save the Kosovars from the operation of the Serbs. Now the reality, as the author writes:
"The bombing of the United States has displaced hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians and Serbs. NATO's attacks on Kosovo have destroyed Kosovar Albanian towns, businesses, homes and industries, killed dozens of civilians and left hundreds of people injured.
More than 90% of the refugees started to flee after the bombing began. The destruction of its economy has turned Kosovo into an economic wasteland where it will be impossible to support the returning population. Washington's false peace proposal, based on the occupation of Kosovo by NATO, has nothing to do with a humanitarian mission, but rather aims to present the military might of the United States and to impose American peace on Europe. "
I think that is eloquent enough and also makes all the lies, the entire litany of falsehoods a little clearer and clearer, which were used for the attack on Yugoslavia and which at the given time were recognized with excellent clarity as a danger and as an announcement, what this could mean for the countries of the third world, where the splinter is always sought in the neighbor's eye and yet it is in theirs.
Carmen R. Báez:Thank you, Marina. I am very happy about your contribution to this panel debate. A few days ago the actor José Antonio Rodríguez told me that if there had been the possibility of panel debates of this kind during the war in Yugoslavia to shed some light on what was happening, he thought it would have been very useful. Countries like ours have always said that justice will prevail; and clearing up things like this also means enforcing justice so that we can all see a little more clearly and always know how to interpret and judge our world today from a critical point of view.
We have several journalists here as interlocutors. I've already introduced them. Everyone gives this sign (raises hand). We have to organize now, one by one, one by one. Dimas and Lázaro are sitting here asking for the floor. I also have a guest in the audience, to whom I will say something else and who would also like to speak on this point.
So for now we will organize ourselves as follows: First it is Dimas' turn and then Nidia, who also asks me to speak. Then we organize further.
Eduardo Dimas:I think one cannot forget what happened after the Yugoslav troops withdrew from Kosovo. There was an interim period after the withdrawal of troops from Kosovo when the province was in the hands of the famous Liberation Army, which we have already characterized, before NATO troops invaded, essentially under the guise of the United Nations, as always , with a UN police force that was never completed. In the meantime, from the withdrawal of the Yugoslav troops up to this point, the Kosovo Liberation Army committed enormous crimes - which even the press had to make public - in front of the intervention forces of NATO, the US, European, Italian, including Russian troops ; and they have appropriated the Serbs' property, the land, the houses, and exodused more than 26,000 Serbs. Let us consider that this population was already frightened by the bombings, that is, they were forced to emigrate by the bombings. What human rights can we now speak of?
They bomb Yugoslavia for 78 days for alleged human rights violations of Kosovar Albanians by Serbs, and the human rights violations of Serbs by Kosovar Albanians are not considered to be mass or flagrant violations. You become aware of the match with the two tipped heads, the double standard and other things that you would rather not talk about, because otherwise words would have to be used that I should better refrain from.
Nidia Díaz:About the remarks by Dimas. According to more recent information received just this week, 50,000 Serbs had to leave Kosovo and suffered violence. They are toppled from balconies. They are locked in their apartments where a fire is being set ... That means what they are doing to the Serbs is an abomination, and that in front of the eyes of all those people, those Europeans as representatives of the peacekeeping forces stationed there.
I would like to address one more aspect. As I said at the beginning, when the Yugoslavia and Kosovo cases were concocted, it was said that
170,000 Kosovar Albanians have had to leave there because they were allegedly victims of an ethnic cleansing operation. Well, of the 170,000 Kosovar Albanians they encouraged and stimulated to leave Kosovo in order to form future aggression against Yugoslavia, the United States has taken in only 0.7% in its territory. That means that the others are now spread out over this Europe, which incited them, which stimulated them to leave the country in order to use their emigration to carry out propaganda against the supposed ethnic cleansing whose scope and strength - as Dimas already said - is not known, but it has already been proven that it did not go as it was announced at the time.
Well, it's a repeat case. They are the same arguments that they use with other peoples, that is, they encourage them to leave the country to straighten out cases with which to justify future interventions, and then these people get stuck with the wrong die, like one usually says. In other words, only 0.7% of the 170,000 Kosovar Albanians who were encouraged to leave the country before the war found acceptance into US territory. I think that speaks for itself of the hypocrisy with which this case was concocted.
Carmen R. Báez:I said earlier that we have a guest in the studio that we would like to hear. Leading representatives of the students are also present, young people representing all those who were involved in the open stands. We also invited some speakers from yesterday's open anti-imperialist tribune "José Martí" to us.
One of these speakers is Fernando Rojas, President of the "Hermanos Saíz" association.
When we were preparing this panel discussion, we made up our minds to invite him because in the days of the war in Yugoslavia, Fernando had the opportunity to visit some European countries and to speak to some intellectuals there.
I can remember that in those days there was a lot of talk among young people, mainly young artists, about the war; about what actually happened. Reports were arriving in Cuba every day, and people reacted and wanted to know more. They wanted to see when the war would finally end and how the Europeans would react.
I think it would be very good to hear the opinions that came to us through Fernando.
Fernando Rojas:Above all, I would like to use this opportunity to share my experiences as a newspaper reader and television viewer. My intention is to expose such a flagrant violation of human rights as the manipulation of consciousness that took place in oh-so-educated Europe during the war in Yugoslavia.
So, I'll start from this point.
All this time the war in the headlines of the newspapers, in colloquial language, at meetings, on television was no different from the war in Kosovo. The war was referred to in all the media.
The titles and names - we in publishing know that - are very important in absorbing the information; and just as one looks for the name of what happened there, one senses how silence begins to cover everything that happened outside that province of Yugoslavia: the bombs that fell on Belgrade and the title was called The Kosovo War; the planes launched in Western European countries to bomb Belgrade, and the heading was called The Kosovo War.
Outside of that, there was only one thing we were already familiar with from the Gulf War, and that was the thought of televising the war, wasn't it, so that people could have the opportunity - such a macabre and frivolous thing - to watch the war on the See the screen and "enjoy" the reports from the military authorities on the events of the war. Of course, all of these reports revolved around the successes of NATO's military operations against the army of Ogre Miloševic, as has already been said here, against other military objectives; and in a small corner of the newspaper, in the report only incidentally or in an inconspicuous television report, the secondary damage, as has been said here, is briefly mentioned. As is known, of course, the collateral damage is the civilian casualties, the civilian objects that are destroyed. But no articles or reports were written about it. It just appeared as part of that macabre thought that people might have an opportunity - and that says nothing good about that educated Europe - to "enjoy" the war.
Reports were made with great pleasure about whatever act any Serb committed in Kosovo, and it was immediately praised, exaggerated. I also became aware of the fact that the origin of this conflict was not documented and not analyzed. A conflict - within that country - whose roots go back centuries. We are talking about a region of Europe with a well-known multinational and multiethnic composition, in which coexistence, of course under systems of rule of different ethnicities and different nationalities, has been characterized by quite a few conflicts over the centuries. And in order to understand why these conflicts arise, strict analyzes must or should be carried out, the columnists, the journalists, the intellectuals should deal with them and then explain them. Well, that never happened.
The origins of the conflict, or the way in which they were explained, was directly subordinate to the aim of the manipulations, to what was being expressed here. That is, Yugoslavia should be seen as the aggressor, as the Empire of Evil and Miloševic can be portrayed as a kind of second Hitler. The anti-fascist feelings of Europeans, which are of course well-known feelings, should be manipulated; and I would say that the anti-communist feelings of the citizens of those countries should also be manipulated - although to a lesser extent, but I have come across it in some texts and programs. That has something to do with what Dimas said, namely with the issue of Russian influence in that region. That is, the horrific aggressor attacking them could be identified with both Hitler-style fascism and a fate of macabre remnants of what was left of the terrible Eastern European communism. The press and television were constantly moving in that direction and showed no interest in reasonable discussions or explorations. Also, comrades, there was something very remarkable, namely an incredible unanimity.
This matter of the free press and freedom of the press is an old wives' tale. All the world, all the media brought the same thing. They were moving in that direction and I am trying to explain. Also this matter of reasonable discussion, of not fathoming, of not thinking, when the ethnic groups were mentioned, when the warring sides were mentioned - according to their design, of course; they were the saviors, weren't they, the member states of NATO, the army, the troops were the saviors who brought that conflict to a solution.
If they spoke of the warring sides, it was not difficult to hear their racist undertone. The same thing happened when they spoke of a Serb, an Albanian, a Bosnian or a Croat, because it was not these people but those people who were the great saviors of those peoples and who came to solve their problem. This went so far that the NATO intervention was portrayed in all the media as fulfilling a demand of the international community, as a state of necessity, a state of request, as an implementation of the representation of what the world actually demanded, what the international community actually demanded. That is, those were the good marines, the good soldiers, who came there to solve the problem of some guys who couldn't live in peace and kept killing each other.
I dare to suggest that in such a press and television coverage of what I believe to be a very important aspect - which will certainly be analyzed at some point - the thought that there is a limited understanding of national sovereignty; that is, there is an international crisis situation, because the international community is of the opinion that there has been a flagrant violation of human rights in a place and that one therefore has a good right to invade that place; where, on the other hand, what is really violated is something as essential as the sovereignty of a state.
The refugee issue that was mentioned earlier and said that the refugees would not be accepted or that they were just saying it and that it was not the truth. So how was this handled on screen and in the press? If a few were taken into a camp, then there was a powerful report, hours of television broadcasting and page-filling articles in the newspapers. Those who were not accepted, who continued to endure the hardships of the war, were simply ignored. And I repeat to you, all of this with the same unanimity, they all said exactly the same thing. The press columnists - you have to introduce yourself, not just the journalists, not just the reporters - almost all of the press columnists followed this pattern, almost without exception. Among them were - it must be said - eminent European intellectuals who wrote their columns in the newspapers and strictly adhered to this scheme.
Entire columns dealt with the presentation of the idea of how the "good" NATO soldiers would settle accounts with this realm of evil. And I tell you, not a nuance, not even a position that differs from one opinion or another, has been informed. No, no, with those people, with Yugoslavia, we had to end.
An anecdote from those days comes to mind: I looked for something else and spent some time visiting libraries, looking through newspapers and found condemnation of what happened outside of Kosovo, that is, condemnation of the bombing of Belgrade and what happened in Yugoslavia as a whole, only in the newspaper of a small communist party and in a local church paper. The rest of the press took the position just explained, completely unanimously, in complete contradiction to what they themselves claim on a daily basis.
I believe that we can conclude from this that these media in these countries, whose governments are precisely those who voted for the resolution against Cuba, did nothing during that war but organs in the service of the interests of the empire, organs in the service of NATO to be. What more flagrant violations of human rights can there be than complicit in the manipulation of conscience, complicit in the idea of restricting the sovereignty of a state. And yet we are talking about the same people who - as I said earlier - voted for the resolution against Cuba, the same people who - and that is another element which I believe should not be dismissed if one Considering these things holistically - in the days of the Ibero-American Summit it was nice to praise the mercenaries who call them dissidents here in our country; it was the same media.
In my opinion, it is very important that these things become known, that we have the opportunity to denounce them and to know who they are who voted for the anti-Cuban resolution in the Commission on Human Rights.
Carmen R. Báez:Thank you, Fernando. Lázaro had also spoken out in order to conclude at least this subject on civilized Europe.
Lázaro Barredo:I think like that well-known Cuban theater actor, namely that in the end the truth will always prevail. Little by little, people learn what really happened in the context of all these inhumanities.
I have an article here from a US magazine Cover actionthat deals with the covert operations, those of the dirty war. The article "A very suspicious pretext" is quite extensive. I just want to read three short paragraphs here to give you an idea of how the United States and its European allies are also using the mafia, because there is a mafia in Europe that can be used, and this is evidence of that .
The said article states: "NATO's horrific bombings on Belgrade and Pristina go far beyond a violation of international law. During Miloševic is satanized and portrayed as a merciless dictator, the Kosovo Liberation Army is presented as a respected nationalist movement fighting for the rights of the Albanian ethnic group.
The truth of the matter, "it continues," is that this Liberation Army is being sustained by organized crime with the tacit approval of the US and its allies. "
It is further added: "The drug trafficking in the Balkans, which runs into the millions, played a decisive role in the financing of the conflict in Kosovo, in line with the economic, strategic and military goals of the West."
More is said in the article, also something that we have always mentioned. It explains how the US and its allies are turning those terrorists into political partners. This is how they did it with the Cuban-American terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s, who then became the politicians of the Cuban-American National Foundation in the 1980s.
It goes on to say: "In order for the Albanians to accept the peace plan, US Secretary of State Albright submitted an incentive to prove that Washington is a friend of Kosovo. Officers from the Kosovo Liberation Army would be sent to the United States to be trained should the army in the interests of the United States from a guerrilla group to the
Police corps or a political body. "
Finally, the article tacitly affirms: "The scheme followed in Kosovo is similar to that of other CIA covert operations in Central America, where fighters for freedom were financed with laundered money from drug trafficking.
US intelligence and its main allies in Europe have been involved in the illicit drug trafficking since the violent onset of the Cold War. Case by case, the money from this business and laundered by international banks has financed these covert operations. "
I think this publication has enough elements to denounce the barbarism of those people who pose as human rights advocates.
Eduardo Dimas:A very brief aspect on the same subject.
90% of the bombs and weapons used in Yugoslavia were of US origin; the other 10% came from Europe. That is, the US has made a diligent effort to destroy Serbia and a whole part of Kosovo; but they left the reconstruction to Europe.
Well, Europe has made the reconstruction of Serbia dependent in the first place on Slobodan Miloševi with a cynicism that we can describe as usualc disappears from the scene - whether killed, deposed or arrested.
In the second place, a corresponding attitude of the rulers in cities and regions was even required for aid. A mayor belonged to an opposition party of Miloševic, then he got support. If he belonged to his party, he was denied help. So that's how far they have gone.
Carmen R. Báez:Thank you very much for addressing the issue of the participation of all those countries in the war in Yugoslavia.
On to the topic: Who is Western Europe, which asks us "Do what I say and not what I do!" I now give the floor to Polanco.
Rogelio Polanco:Actually, I wanted to say something about another topic raised here, because it is the case that many of the things that happened in Kosovo could already be observed a few years ago during the Iraq invasion. Iraq is also a prime example of Phariseeism, the double-faced Western policy of human rights advocacy.
Iraq has suffered an economic blockade by the United Nations and its Security Council for a decade. This blockade has no justification whatsoever and is rejected by the international community. For the country, of course, it means preventing the trade of all kinds of goods, including food and medicines.
This cruel blockade was used only to establish US hegemony in a region considered vital to its interests and those of its allies. They used numerous pretexts and justifications for this. But the truth is that behind the blockade is the interest of Western countries, especially the United States and Great Britain, in leveraging the oil reserves on which many European and Japanese economic competitors depend. In geopolitical terms, the region provides the United States and Europe with a base of operations to expand their power into the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Hence, the numbers on the impact of this economic blockade on Iraq are an index finger accusing the West, specifically the United States and Great Britain. The latter country obediently bows to the US and US interests in this regard.
The blockade has greatly exacerbated the consequences of the devastation wrought against the Iraqi people in the Gulf War. Of course there was also a real theater, a war on television. We remembered when we spoke earlier about Kosovo; when the New World Order was announced with kettledrums and trumpets, which would be established on our planet after the fall of the socialist camp.
Some of the figures are certainly important. First, Iraq fell 140,000 tons of explosives eight times the strength of that which fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So where is the statement by the Commission on Human Rights condemning the countries responsible for that mass murder? Of these, one million projectiles with depleted uranium coatings were fired from aircraft.
According to the US Department of Defense, 40 tons of this radioactive material are still on southern Iraqi territory. This logically explains why there are still entire villages today in which children are born blind or with congenital malformations of the heart and lungs and that women who are advanced in pregnancy have miscarriages. Now where is the statement by the Commission on Human Rights condemning those countries that did it?
Iraq had become a testing laboratory for material that had not been tried and tested before and was still unknown.
There are many figures, such as UNICEF's, which indicate that the blockade has caused child mortality among the Iraqi people to rise from 56 per 1,000 to the current 131 per 1,000 in those ten years; or that infant mortality has risen from 17 to over 100 per 1,000, and that the purchase of medicines and food to reverse this situation has, of course, been made impossible.
Other sources, on the other hand, cite data such as: deaths from diarrhea increased from 106 per month to 1,811 - the first number is from 10 years ago and the second number I have given is current; or child deaths from pneumonia, which increased from 93 per month to 1,507 per month; or the number of deaths from child malnutrition, which has increased from 73 per month to 2,051 per month; or the increase, the doubling of the number of children born with diseases such as the harelip, which has increased from 1 case per 1,200 to 1 case per 600, ie has doubled. Where is the statement from the Human Rights Commission condemning the countries that have committed this genocide?
Over 1.2 million people have died as a result of this blockade and over 6,000 children die every month as a result of the blockade. So I think the responsibility of the countries that today continue to demand the upholding of this criminal blockade against the Iraqi people is obvious, and these countries have not been condemned by this Human Rights Commission. What human rights will these countries speak of, which presume to prosecute Cuba?
Nidia Díaz:I would like to go into the subject of Iraq in greater depth, because if this double standard, the double standard in the treatment of human rights anywhere, like in Yugoslavia, is evident in the case of Iraq.
In the case of Iraq, it is not something that has happened, it is happening now, and what Rojas said is happening: the United States and Great Britain have managed the systematic bombing that has been going on against Iraqi since December until today Territory take place, to be silent; that is, there was not a day on which the airspace of this country was not invaded.
But today there is also the fact that they are exposed to a blockage that does not allow them to meet the nutritional needs of the population. And as Polanco said, 10,000 Iraqis died last July, 7,000 of whom were children. One wonders: what right is Britain and the United States having to conduct this bombing, this economic aggression against that people? Well, the only answer is the arrogance of an empire that is simply at the top of world hegemony, or the colonial arrogance, known to all as the wicked Albion, who seemingly unwilling to give it up.
I wonder why no measures are being taken and passed in the Security Council to put an end to this tragedy in Iraq, despite the fact that the subject is constantly being raised.
A few days ago some United Nations officials were on the Security Council, high officials who, in view of so many dead children in Iraq because of poor nutrition and illness, had the idea of proposing that vitamin-rich biscuits could be distributed to alleviate the situation of the children in Iraq. If it wasn't tragic, if it wasn't immoral, it would really be laughable. Vitamin-rich biscuits for a population that loses 7,000 children and 3,000 adults to starvation in one month.
In addition, precisely because of this situation, the possibility was discussed a few days ago of extending the terms of the clause in the Security Council under which Iraq is allowed to sell part of its oil production in order to pay off debt with part of the money to pay that he has with Kuwait and others - because of the invasion, as we all know, this slip-up of Iraq - and to use the other part to buy food for the population; Obviously, however, groceries that they block from purchasing or that they do not sell to them and that are not enough for them.
When everything looked like everyone agreed that this should be the case, that this should be the case, we remember that a few weeks ago the price of oil moved, and then it no longer suited Iraq a higher sales quota to give for his oil, because that would affect the falling oil price. That is to say, it is a pattern, it is really an immoral measure of interests that only benefit these powers, these countries, which are also responsible for the underdevelopment of our peoples, which are responsible for the fact that we have not evolved, which for are responsible for all the ethnic situations that have been created in our countries; that is, they are responsible for everything and, moreover, they afford the luxury of attacking us. Why?
Well, Iraq is just being attacked and the main reason is, or has to be, or in my opinion it is that they just didn't make it - that is, the United States and Great Britain, which, as Polanco said, are theming themselves in this War of Aggression against Iraq added - to create an internal resistance movement that could overthrow the current government; the current administration, which also, in nationalizing oil, touched on the strategic and economic interests of the United States in relation to oil.
But also because Iraq is a military training ground; Iraq is not just the country that is being blocked, Iraq is now a military training ground where the United States can label all weapons used in combat Combat provent and that's the best seal of quality a gun can have on the market. So the United States has this military training ground in Iraq, which means that its weapons are tested there and are more competitive in the international arms market, to the detriment of its allies.
What right do these people have to commit this crime? Then why are they accusing others of human rights abuses if it is them who are doing so? What human rights violations are perpetrated in our country? On the contrary, where in our country the education of children is guaranteed, nutrition is guaranteed; we are a people who are themselves an example of cooperation with third world countries. That means that Cuba's accusation is really immoral.
But at the end I would like to read you a report from the IPS agency that shows how the immorality of those who led the vote against Cuba in the Human Rights Commission is expressed.
The message from IPS is as follows:
"A scandal erupted in the UK in April last year when it was revealed that the most prestigious universities, charitable organizations and major hospitals are investing their workers' pension funds in the defense industry. Education, welfare and health officials said they were bringing them Put money into the companies that make the most profits. "
A spokesman for the University of Glasgow said it very clearly, as the report from the IPS agency revealed:
"We don't make moral distinctions. We care that the investments are profitable, not that they are ethical."
If I were Taladrid, I would say our television viewers should draw their own conclusions, but since I am not Taladrid, I say, this is immoral; that is simply immoral; there is no other way to describe it.
Rogelio Polanco:Carmen, to add something to what Nidia said, I think it is important to reiterate one thing and that is that the sovereignty of Iraq is being curtailed today, not just because of all that has been mentioned here, because of the Blockade, but because these bombardments are being carried out from restricted air areas unilaterally established by the United States, Great Britain and France, and from which civilians, cities, certain places on Iraqi territory were bombed, and because this nation is not allowed to fully exercise their sovereignty over their entire national territory. This is one of the new concepts that imperialism is currently using to restrict the sovereignty of third world countries.
But I would like to briefly refer to a report from Reuters, yesterday, that the war in Iraq continues; So what Nidia said, the bombing is going on.
"Iraq declared on Thursday" - yesterday - "that the attacks by western planes in its northern and southern areas since mid-December 1998 have left 295 dead and 860 injured." So what happened to these bombings is something systematic.
"Last week" - that happened not long ago, it was last week - "Iraqi officials reported 15 dead and 18 injured when Western planes attacked various targets in southern Iraq."
So in the face of the world there continues to be a flagrant violation of the human rights of the Iraqi people, and where is the resolution of the Human Rights Commission condemning the United States and Britain for these dead, for these injured?
But, Carmen Rosa, not only are the human rights violated by the Iraqi people, the Iraqi people, but these developed nations, these imperialist nations themselves have violated the rights of their citizens. Let us remember what is told of the disease known as Gulf Syndrome, which has been a major scandal and believed to be a mystery to medicine, affecting at least 100,000 US soldiers and a sizable but indefinite one Canadian and British military personnel have been scourged since the very moment these troops withdrew in the war against Iraq in 1991; it has been mentioned in numerous media outlets and it is clear that our own US citizens and citizens of other imperialist and European nations have been used as cannon fodder and that this has not been adequately researched.
What I have here is information from the Rand Corporation, a US research center based in California, which after two years of research funded by the Pentagon, produced a 385-page document which it submitted to the US Department of Defense and which is endorsed that pyridostigmine bromide, known by the abbreviation Pb, could be the cause of Gulf Syndrome, which caused numerous ailments among soldiers who took part in the Gulf War, from hair loss, neurological problems to digestive problems.
"The New York Times, the influential New York daily newspaper, assured that between 250,000 and 300,000 US soldiers were given Pb "- that is, this substance -" as an antidote to poisonous gases before the Gulf War. Washington sent 700,000 men there. "
And the report goes on: "Beatrice Golomb, an academic from San Diego, is the author of the Rand Corporation report. She found similarities between suffering from Gulf Syndrome and the side effects of this pyridostigmine bromide. that this substance, which has been used since the 1950s, gets into the brain more easily when the person to whom it is administered is in a stressful situation. It also increases muscle activity, reflection, and respiratory and digestive functions. "
"Nobody doubts that being at war or going to war is a very stressful situation and one could have foreseen that the use of this substance would have immediate consequences." So it was known that this substance would have these consequences for the soldiers of these countries.
"The Pentagon provided these pills to troops sent to the Gulf, and then injections and additional drug treatment were needed to ensure their preventive effect. The troops had to take 30 mg pills three times a day for the duration of the treatment.
"There is more confusion about Gulf Syndrome that denies how the Pentagon dealt with its own men and women because the women were also in the war zone.
"The United States Department of Defense did not rush investigations into the disease because, although Gulf Syndrome emerged since the end of the armed conflict, it was not decided to fund its investigation until late 1994." So this matter, which is also a flagrant violation of the human rights of its own citizens, was not immediately addressed.
It also took more than a year to admit that some 100,000 US soldiers were exposed to minimal doses of poisonous gases during the destruction of an Iraqi chemical industry camp.
"To this day, the Pentagon rules out that this explosion could have had an impact on the troops," which means it is still not recognized.
"Only now have the investigations carried out by the Pentagon confirm the assumptions about the cause of the evil.
"It also became known that during the Gulf War, soldiers were exposed to pesticides, insect repellants and other nerve gases supplied by their own armed forces to protect them." So it's like one of the people who took part in the Gulf War, a Canadian, says, "We're like mushrooms kept in the dark, that's how our governments treated us."
A resolution by a human rights commission should have condemned the things these nations have done, those who presume to condemn Cuba and who, of course, have no morals to accuse us and, moreover, continue to denounce the human rights of other peoples and theirs hurt one's own citizen.
Carmen R. Báez:I was listening to you, Polanco, and you said where was the resolution of the Human Rights Commission condemning everything that has happened in Iraq, and I remember that very few days ago - it seems to me that it is two or three days ago - the Cuban television evening news commented on the lawsuit brought by Iraq over the bombing and the depleted uranium bombing, the consequences they have on the Iraqi people, and on the same news broadcast we were told that it was Iraq that had been condemned by the Geneva Human Rights Commission because of the internal situation in that country.
That is an example of the hypocrisy we are talking about and, in a way, we have so far covered some forms of intervention in other countries that have been used as pretexts in recent years, and many of these forms of intervention Intervention - at least for those we talked about - countries like - I think it's good to always mention this - Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, countries who voted against Cuba in the Human Rights Commission, who condemn us. And these countries, which have participated in, advocated or supported interventions in some way, are also involved in NATO. I think it would be good if we could analyze from the inside what kind of thing NATO is and what history it has.
I think, Arsenio, of topics like this in the paper Granma could help us a little to enlighten us about what kind of thing NATO is, what its history is, what NATO thinks of everything it is expressing itself these days.
Arsenio Rodríguez:Of course.
Before I get into the subject, I think that our people's outrage when the Geneva Commission’s Human Rights Commission's decision became known was justified, and now, with the information they receive through these informative panel discussions, I believe the outrage is still going on is much greater, largely because it is so evident that it was an intention of the United States and its aides to condemn Cuba for something so sensitive that the Cubans cannot accept for many and compelling reasons.
I would like to make a few reflections on those who voted for the resolution against our country.
As you said, there is the United States and Canada, and some member countries of the European Union, and both the former and the latter are NATO. Then there is the puppet, I don't think you have to say the name of this republic in Cuba, and two aspiring capitalists from Eastern Europe.
At first glance, when you look at the list of countries that voted against us, it appears, above all, the father of the child: the United States. Well - and I'll try to answer a little, to listen to my colleagues about some of the questions they asked: Why is there no resolution condemning; why is this not discussed in the UN; therefore, as Fernando said, nothing appears in the press of those countries that claim to be very well informed - these and other facts mentioned here prove once more the confusion that prevailed in this world at the end of the century.
Here appear several of those countries that say what must be done and how, and that are trying to impose the rules for the new millennium that will determine the fate of humanity.
What role do these nations play in the international community and how can this double standard be explained that they can just do what they like and nothing happens? Above all, they include former metropolises - Nidia went into this a little - that destroyed our cultures, who colonized us, who enslaved us, they were the main actors in two world wars and who knows how many military aggression and interventions against sovereign nations; they are also the largest arms manufacturers and exporters, they are currently the believers of most of humanity and, in order not to lag behind, they are now global human rights advocates. I'm talking about the countries of Western Europe, Canada, and the United States that are on the list; the other three, well, tamely follow these first-order countries.
Well, I said they belong to NATO; but besides being part of NATO, they also have privileged seats on the UN Security Council, which gives them the right of veto. You also belong to the G-7 countries; but they also chair and have the upper hand of the Geneva Commission on Human Rights, they own the most important communication media and are also the theorists of neoliberal globalization - and I am only listing part of the power they wield on this planet.
Well, what picture is offered to the world? Aggressors posing as defenders of peace; Believers who imagine themselves as benevolent souls, concerned about the development of the Third World, which Third World happens to make up the majority of the 6 billion inhabitants of this planet.
Well, since you asked me, I would like to stick with NATO for a while.
This armed organization celebrated its 50th anniversary, as shown here, not with fireworks, but with the massive and ruthless bombardment of Yugoslavia with rockets and bombs. And in the absence of the USSR and communism, which have been their main enemies since its inception, they have simply, and this is also dangerous, found new enemies to demonstrate their destructive power.
NATO - and this is very easy to prove, the press, the agencies repeat it every day - has the largest arsenal in history, enough to destroy this planet several times. This has been reported on numerous occasions. Nonetheless, it is the members of NATO who voted against us who are extremely concerned about the potential and modest weapons with which we who are born and live in poor or underdeveloped nations are trying to defend.
During one of the summit meetings of this armed organization - and I want to go into a little more detail - that was held in Madrid in July 1997, the US Secretary of Defense William Cohen defined his country's military doctrine - and when I say his country, it is as Understand NATO because it is the United States that leads NATO - with the principle of rapid attack.
The General Secretary of the Atlantic Alliance or NATO at that time was the Spaniard Javier Solana, who, according to the press in his own country and Europe, turned from a tame dove into a hawk - these terms apply because this man was almost a pacifist , and suddenly he turns into a hawk and heads a martial organization. At the end of 1999 Solana stated that it was his job and that of the organization to develop a new strategic concept for this organization; however, no more detailed information was available at the time.
After Yugoslavia he will be replaced in office by George Robertson, the former defense minister of Great Britain, who is considered to be the defender of a European common defense, an old request of the Europeans, although when he took office he declared frankly that the key policy of this organization was to maintain the existing strong connection with the United States in defending Europe. So on the one hand they want their own defense and on the other hand they are inevitably still dependent on the power of the United States.
It was not mentioned here, or only partially, that it was the Americans who shot down the missiles that gave orders during the aggression against Yugoslavia, and they were the force that followed them.
One or the other - European - commentator noted that this gentleman - the new Secretary General - perhaps got the office as a reward for his bellicose attitude during the aggression against Yugoslavia. He is considered a pragmatist and little inclined to political statements.
As additional information: The Queen Elizabeth herself bestowed on him the title of Lord of Port Alen after the name of the place where he was born in the lap of a police family.
We already know who this person is, now let's see how he thinks.
What goals did the above lord set himself? He puts it in one sentence: "My first priority is military capability, the second and third priority is military capability, because the Alliance's credibility depends on the military capability we have."
This is the man, Carmen Rosa, who is to draft NATO's new strategic concept.
Carmen R. Báez:De la Hoz asks for the floor, probably also to say something about an intellectual like Solana, right?
Pedro de la Hoz:Yes, unfortunately, to talk about an intellectual like the Spaniard Javier Solana.
The Spaniard Javier Solana was NATO Secretary General at one terrible time, and I would describe him as a very strange person who embodies the role of being part of the power elite of these European states over NATO and under the auspices of US imperialism World policemen aims. Because nothing else is what they strive for, what develops from this organization is a world police.
These people set out, but in a very serious and very dangerous way, to impose uncivilized practices that negate the continent's cultural tradition.
Solana's transvestism - I can't describe it any other way - is very eloquent. Once this man persistently, and I believe he was honest, opposed to Spain joining NATO, and yet he became secretary general at supersonic speeds and was at the head of the Atlantic Alliance. The change was much more abrupt than it sounds, because Solana was Minister of Culture and it is well known which values are defended from this office. And I remember exactly how at one point Solana even objected and spoke a lot about the dangers of an audiovisual invasion of the American subculture in Europe, the victims of which are Europeans.
Nonetheless, he was there at the top of NATO, initiating a new violent phase - as I said - defending values a thousand light years away from any kind of cultural value and turning into a wall-breaker of the Yankie hawks, and was a hawk himself.
And there he was in NATO, inaugurating this phase with his finger on the genocidal trigger. That is the phase that Arsenio was referring to in his remarks.
In a wonderfully written chronicle - which, by the way, went around the world - García Márquez showed both surprise and irony when he saw how this man had changed in such an incredible way.
For me this is simply a regrettable case that sums up the moral weakness and wretchedness of this top power in the NATO environment. And that is the same moral weakness and wretchedness that the anti-Cuban resolution passed in the Human Rights Commission testifies.
Carmen R. Báez:Arsenio, you mentioned NATO's new strategic concept. I don't think we can avoid delving into this a little.
Arsenio Rodríguez:I think we need to deepen this too because it is an important issue not only for the countries that until very recently were under the influence of NATO, but simply because it is a new concept that affects everyone, in the Caribbean and all over the world. I'll explain why.
In essence, it is a matter of making the doctrine of law official, globally and for a variety of reasons. This doctrine was announced at the end of the unjustified genocide against Yugoslavia and during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organization,
Now, what is this doctrine based on, and what excuses do the Alliance members use to implement it?
I have been taking notes and I want to be very specific so that our people know the reasoning because, I repeat, it concerns us all.
In this doctrine it says literally, I read aloud: "To improve peace and stability in Europe and beyond, the European allies strengthen their ability to act, also by strengthening their military capabilities."
Below we speak of the security of the Alliance, which they say is subject to military and non-military risks which - and here comes another quote from the Policy Brief - "come from many directions and are often difficult to predict. These risks include uncertainty and instability in and around the Euro-Atlantic area as well as the possible emergence of regional crises on the periphery of the Alliance ".
Other points are mentioned such as: "Security interests of the Alliance can be affected by other risks of a broader nature".
The combined military forces of the Alliance must be ready to help prevent conflicts and respond to unforeseen crises. So it touches everything.
"The size, level of readiness, availability and deployment of the Alliance's armed forces will reflect his commitment to collective defense and rapid response operations. This can sometimes be short-term, far from home and beyond the Alliance's territory."
Below they repeat, "NATO forces can be called to operations beyond their borders". I am not repeating the same paragraph here, this line of argument insists obsessively in every paragraph that you can act where you want.
And in order to underline this virtual declaration of war against everything that, according to the Allies' interpretation, endangers their security, it is assured - and here comes another quote from the document - "that it is more likely that the possible threats against the security of the Alliance grew out of regional or ethnic conflicts, from other crises outside of the alliance's territory, as well as from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. "
I think nothing more needs to be said about this.
Well, what is - to put it bluntly and unequivocally - the new policy of the Atlantic Alliance? In Yugoslavia - a country that was attacked without a declaration of war, a sovereign nation stripped of its sovereignty - NATO inaugurated its new strategic concept which, as Pedro said, "the transition from an alliance that is mainly was concerned about collective defense, towards an alliance that defends democratic values both inside and outside our borders ".
NATO is thus becoming an alliance with an offensive character, operating in a region which, in quotation marks, they call the Euro-Atlantic periphery. It is simply in every part of the world, that is, in our third world countries.
Under the new strategic approach, NATO is responding to so-called "global threats" which include the illegal possession of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking, terrorism, massive and blatant violations of human rights and internal conflicts.
NATO simply grants itself the right to so-called "humanitarian intervention," which is nothing more than the right to global intervention in any of the Third World countries, on humanitarian or other pretexts. I think that definition is clear.
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